Target Corp. recently got into hot water over their response to a blogger, and the response at the center of the conversation/controversy is instructive in what companies should not do when responding to the blogosphere. The story is also a recent example (among many) of how mainstream media and social media have converged. The story started on the Shaping Youth blog, whose writer wrote to the company about concerns over this Target ad. The blogger contacted Target, and got this response:
“Thank you for contacting Target; unfortunately we are unable to respond to your inquiry because Target does not participate with non-traditional media outlets. This practice is in place to allow us to focus on publications that reach our core guest.
Once again thank you for your interest, and have a nice day.”
It’s no surprise that the company’s response – and the story – gained legs and started making its way around the blogosphere, and finally made the leap to mainstream media yesterday on the New York Times.
Side note: I’ve found it interesting that when I’ve talked about this story with different people, most poeple’s reaction is surprise – because it feels so uncharacteristic and out of brand character to them.